1980s VCRs: a lot of money for a little technology

Today video-on-demand is everywhere, including on your phone. But 40 years ago, things were very different.

When I was in junior high (1980 – 1982), it was quite an event when one’s parents broke down and purchased a “programmable” VCR.

Of course, “programmable” is a relative term. Any of these VCRs would be…I don’t know…1/100,000th as powerful as an entry-level 2022 iPhone?

Nevertheless, these early Reagan-era gadgets were expensive for their time. The cheapest VCR in the ad below, priced at $989 in 1981 dollars, is the equivalent of $3,128.07 in 2022 dollars. And that VCR would be suitable for nothing but landfill today.